Of all of the inspiring words I’ve read about Ben Bradlee, the legendary Washington Post editor, in the days since he died, some of the most inspiring came from the man himself.
“Even the very best newspapers have never learned how to handle public figures who lie with a straight face. . . . we have to wait, searching aggressively for ways to prove the lie, and in the process, we alienate those who don’t believe or don’t want to believe the lie. . . . The more aggressive our search for truth, the more some people are offended by the press. The more complicated are the issues and the more sophisticated are the ways to disguise the truth, the more aggressive our search for truth must be, and the more offensive we are sure to become to some. So be it.”
— Ben Bradlee, in a speech at the University of California, Riverside, on Jan. 7, 1997